October 16, 2017

Hear ye, Hear ye! {to anyone who lives in or near VA}

As you may know, I live in Virginia. Several of my blogging friends do too, and we're going to meet up at the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton this fall. Sounds fun, right? I've met a few blogging friends before and let's just say that they were even more awesome in person! So I'm definitely excited.

To avoid creepy stalker types, I'm not posting the names of the other people who are meeting up with me, or which date and time we'll be there. Not that I know I have any creepy stalkers in my life or anything like that, but better safe than sorry, you know? So! If you're not a creepy stalker type, and live near VA of course, please think about joining us! I promise we're nice. And it'll be awesome! Guaranteed. :)

If you'd be interested in joining us, please email me at flowersofquiethappiness at gmail dot com and I'll fill you in on details.



September 29, 2017

A Tolkien Blog Party :: 2017


So the lovely Hamlette hosted her fifth annual A Tolkien Blog Party last week and I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT IT. Go figure. That describes this entire year blogging-wise for me. I've forgotten everything! *big sigh* Still, I had planned to participate, so...better late than never, yes? I hope so because here goes nothing! :)

{Thanks, Hamlette! For not minding a late party-goer!}

1. How long have you been a Tolkien fan?

Only a couple years! I read The Hobbit for the first time in 2014 and the trilogy in 2015. So I'm a newbie! :)

2. Has your love of Middle-earth affected your life?

Not really? Other than I gush about these stories to people in real life if they're willing to listen to me. :D

3. If you had to take the One Ring to Mordor, which character would you choose for your sole companion?

Samwise Gamgee, of course! Sam is just awesome. And wise.

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4. Which is scarier, Shelob or the Balrog?

Shelob because I don't DO spiders! *shudder* But to be fair, I'm certain that I'd be a quivering mess of fear were I facing either one...

5. Which two towers do you think Tolkien was referring to in the title The Two Towers?  (i.e. Orthanc, Barad-dûr, Cirith Ungol, Minas Morgul, or Minas Tirith)

I don't really know. I've read all kinds of speculations and everyone has great reasons to support their theories, so I always end up nodding along with them. *shrugs*

6. Whose wardrobe would you like to have?

Arwen's. Mainly because I really like this particular cloak...

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7. What do you think an Ent Draught would taste like?

Something very earthy, I would imagine.

8. Where in Middle-earth would you like to live?

The Shire! But only if I could visit the other places, like Rivendell and Rohan, occasionally. I have enough "Tookish"-ness in me to want to travel a bit. ;)

9. Do you have any Tolkien-related opinions that surprise other people?

I don't think so? It might surprise some people that I've even read his books and loved them though...

10. List up to ten of your favorite lines/quotations from the books or movies.
"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort."
"His grief he will not forget; but it will not darken his heart, it will teach him wisdom."
"The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater."
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
"It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass."
"Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick."



September 28, 2017

Fun with Flowers | The Heart's Spring Book Tag


Hello, my lovelies! I went searching for post ideas yesterday and wouldn't you know it, the always delightful Amber has a book tag going! So of course, I was happy to join in. (Also, she's currently got a couple great deals for the series, so check them out if you haven't read them yet. :)

{The prompts are based on book titles/flower names and themes in The Heart's Spring series.}

Bellflower: Name a book with beautiful writing or a profound plot that made you immediately fall in love.

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Beautiful writing? Always and forever The Q! I cannot gush enough about the delightfulness that is this story. I have reread my favorite scenes countless times and still find little phrases and whole paragraphs that simply speak to my heart. :)


Forget Me Not: Name a book you adored in your childhood and can't forget even now.

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I scoured the used bookstore shelves for these books back when! And read and reread them again and again. I loved each of the club members and dreamed of starting my own club some day. Ah, the sweet memories!


Bleeding Heart: Name a book that made you cry with deep compassion for a character.

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When people ask me about my favorite books, My Hands Came Away Red is always in my top five! The events feel so true to life, especially nowadays, and the characters, while flawed, are exceptionally written. My heart gets drawn in every single time I reread this story. Yes, it's really THAT good!


Fairy Slippers: Name a fantasy book or fairy tale that utterly charmed you.


The Eyes of E'veria series by Serena Chase!! I was blown away by how very much I loved book one, The Ryn, and then....I met Cazien de Pollis and oh, my heart! ;) He's a charmer, for sure. But trust me, there are SO many reasons I love this series that it would take entirely too long to tell you. Just read them!


Morning Glory: Name a book that has not yet released but you just know you'll love.

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Now this one is a no-brainer! I have LOVED every single one of Katherine Reay's stories and most definitely anticipate loving this one as well. Cannot wait!!! :)




September 13, 2017

Review: A New Shade of Summer by Nicole Deese

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I don't know what it is about Ms. Deese's writing, but it sucks me in every single time. I am a mess of emotions after reading this one, friends! If you get nothing else out of this review, please just remember this one thing...READ IT. Don't wait, but read it now! I really don't think you'll regret it.

(But y'all know I like lots of words, so no way am I planning to just leave you there! ;)

To be truthful though, it had been a while since I read book two, A Season to Love, so I'd kind of forgotten who was who in the awesome town of Lenox. Not to worry though, because Ms. Deese gave just enough hints and background (without actually giving background, just sliding the info in around the goings on, kudos to her) for my recall to get kicked into gear! And I remembered how badly I felt for Davis in that book, yet how I just knew he wasn't the right guy for Willa. So I became all anxious to make sure Callie would be a good fit for him! And for Brandon. (I can't tell you how badly I wanted to make he and Brandon's father-son relationship all better. SO many times did I want to jump in the story and give both of them a hug. Thank goodness for Callie!)

Oh friends, can I just tell you how much I loved Callie? I seem to say that with each new character I meet in this series, but it's really true this time! ;) She really does shine bright in every way, not just in her hair color. Her ability to make others immediately feel comfortable in her presence is amazing (except for maybe Vivian, but she seems a hard nut to crack in general anyway). So please believe me when I say that Davis and Callie fit perfect! One bad first impression could not keep their friendship from blossoming, and once again, I was reminded how much I love reading about a really great friendship that turns into something more. Their rapport was fair immediate, bad first impression notwithstanding, and they truly brought out the best in each other. The way they both brought new color into each other's lives? In more ways than one? Ah, my heart! They truly love each other so, so well. And the way that Callie was able to connect to Brandon right from the getgo? That was cause for plenty of heartwarming moments for me. I loved how she innately understood him and what he needed without him having to say a single word. And she thought she wasn't cut out to be a mother! Silly girl.

Also I loved, loved, LOVED getting the perspectives of both Callie and Davis during pivotal moments. I've read plenty of stories that involved more than one point of view, but this seems like the first one where each chapter led to a different POV but not always a different scene. So seamless was the transition that it felt natural and real. (Plus I just really liked getting in both of their heads during certain moments especially! ;) I had the thought early during my reading that I really liked this way of handling dual viewpoints, because it simply felt less discombobulating than changing POV mid-chapter. This isn't to say that one is better than the other, but it just worked really well for this story in my opinion!

Last but not least, can I just mention this? Ms. Deese has often swept me up onto her fictional town of Lenox and the myriad of wonderful people who live there, but I am simply in amazement once again at her ability to make me feel the incredible chemistry between two people. I felt those zings and crackles right along with Callie! How does a writer do that anyway? Oh! And one more thing, can Lenox actually exist in real life? I'd really like to visit there and see Callie's murals in person! That would be amazing. :)

**I received a complimentary copy from the author via Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

"Grief is carried on a moving current. Sometimes it's swift and sometimes slow, but it's never stagnant. Because stagnant water doesn't process. It festers."

"Our connection to art has less to do with talent and more to do with the emotion it stirs inside us. And perhaps our willingness to feel that emotion."

"The only way to heal from our hurt was to journey through it, not be offered an escape from it."

"I don't know how to pull him out of the world he lives in."
Slowly, I raised our joined hands and flattened Davis's palm to the wall. "Then go into his world."



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